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The History of Providence Basketball from Wikipedia.
The Providence Friars men's basketball team represents Providence College in NCAA Division I competition, in which they are a founding member of the Big East Conference. They play their home games at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Since 2011, the head coach is Ed Cooley.
The Friars have made two Final Four appearances in the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, in 1973 and 1987. Three former players or coaches are enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Dave Gavitt, John Thompson, and Lenny Wilkens. In addition, two-time NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament champion, Florida Gators men's basketball head coach Billy Donovan, helped lead the Friars (as a player) to the Final Four in 1987.
Providence Friars basketball can be traced back to 1921, when the four-year old school fielded its first basketball team on an informal basis. This first team only lasted two years, however, and did not return until the 1926–27 season when Archie Golembeski, the school's football coach, led to the team to a win over St. John's before devoting his time to football the next year. He was replaced by Al McClellan, who coached the team to four New England championships – 1929, 1930, 1932, and 1935 – and had an overall winning percentage over .700. In 1938, McClellan left and was replaced by Ed Crotty, who led the team to a 15–5 record in 1942–43 before the team suspended play the next year after the outbreak of World War II. After the war, the NCAA divided its teams into two divisions, the University Division and the College Division; with a smaller enrollment and no home court (the team played in an on-campus auditorium and then local high school gyms), the Friars were placed into the College Division and no longer faced the opponents they once played.
In 1949, Vin Cuddy was hired as the team's head coach, leading the team to a 14–9 record in his first season and qualified for the NAIB regional tournament in 1951, behind the school's first 1,000-point scorer, Jim Schlimm. By 1955, Cuddy's record fell to 9–12 and he was replaced by Joe Mullaney; at the same time, the school opened its first on-campus gym, Alumni Hall. In 1959, Mullaney and the Friars defeated ranked Villanova on the road, leading to their first-ever National Invitational Tournament bid.
The Friars reached the NIT Finals in 1960 before winning the tournament in 1961 behind future hall of famer Lenny Wilkens. Two years later, led by another future hall of famer, John Thompson, as well as future Boston Mayor Ray Flynn, the Friars won their second NIT title. With a 24–2 record in 1964–65, the number four ranked Friars reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.
Providence Basketball is located in the state of Rhode Island.
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